Cook’s challenge to Pompey signing

Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey celebrated Brett Pitman's opening goal against AFC Wimbledon earlier this season

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Jamal Lowe has been challenged to show the hunger to become a marksman for Pompey.

Paul Cook has lauded the exciting potential of the non-league hot shot, who has agreed a deal to arrive at Fratton Park in January.

Lowe has sealed an 18-month contract with the Blues, with the club having the option of extending that stay for another 12 months.

The 22-year-old, who has been named National League South player of the month for October, has been touted as one of the hottest properties outside the Football League this season.

That’s after bagging 19 goals in 23 games in the National League South for his current side Hampton & Richmond.

The deal for Lowe is typical of the type of business Cook has undertaken throughout his management career.

Lowe, who has also been called up to the England C squad, came through the ranks at Barnet and had a taste of League Two football before hitting the non-league circuit.

Cook feels going through that testing journey can fuel a player’s desire to make the grade.

He said: ‘It’s a good signing, it’s the type of signing I like to make.

‘I like players who’ve got a hunger to be a professional footballer.

‘They walk into the building in a different light to others.

‘He’s obviously got a lot of talent because he’s scored a lot of goals.

‘We have watched him for quite a spell now and feel it’s a the kind of chance worth taking. The kid’s doing really well.

‘I want him to come in nice and quiet, get his head down, train hard and go and become a footballer.

‘Jamal has had a bit of football pedigree and has dropped into a league which is a decent enough level.

‘Conference North or South isn’t a bad level. These aren’t bad teams,

‘He scores a lot of goals and is an exciting player. Hopefully he can go on to have a good career here with us.’

Cook explained the attitude of players coming into league football can contrast with those falling down the divisions.

The Scouser questioned the mindset of some of those men and their drive to succeed.

Cook said: ‘When you look at our stadium and facilities, we are giving lads a platform to go and succeed.

‘Some footballers feel football owes them. Some of these other lads have a hunger and talent to succeed.

‘There has been a turnover of players in the past here.

‘If you look at where we shop and who we deem good enough for the first team, we are running out of a pool of players to pick from.

‘These lads have a hunger to succeed and be a professional.

‘Lads who have been at bigger clubs or are dropping down sometimes have a different mentality.

‘Do they have a hunger to succeed?’